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Sensemaking at work: meaningful work experience for individuals and organizations

Ozen Asik-Dizdar (Department of Management, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.)
Ayla Esen (Department of Business Administration, Istanbul Kemerburgaz University, Istanbul, Turkey.)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 14 March 2016




The purpose of this paper is to take a closer look at the concept of meaningful work experience for individuals and organizations, and discuss the role of sensemaking in creating it.


The main argument of the paper is that sensemaking efforts are among the fundamental tools that help create meaningful work experience for both individuals and organizations. The paper offers a conceptual framework that presents the interplay between sensemaking tools and enabling mechanisms in relation to internal and external organizational environments.


It is proposed that job crafting is a sensemaking tool – enabled by empowerment – for individuals to make sense of the internal environment of the organization; and strategy crafting is a sensemaking tool – enabled by organizational learning – for organizations to make sense of the external environment of the organization.


This paper attempts to converge micro- and macro-level concepts by bringing together individual- and organizational-level variables into a joint discussion. It places job crafting and strategy crafting in the context of sensemaking theory, and it reinforces the idea of proposing models that will consider the multi-level implications of organizational research.



A preliminary version of this paper was presented at the 8th Organization Studies Summer Workshop that was held in Mykonos, Greece, on May 23-25, 2013.


Asik-Dizdar, O. and Esen, A. (2016), "Sensemaking at work: meaningful work experience for individuals and organizations", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 2-17.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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